Community Development Week – which runs through April 26 this year – is a national initiative where communities across the country come together to celebrate the impact of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program. The objective of National Community Development Week is to educate the community on the impact of the CDBG and HOME programs, their impact on the community and the need for increased program funding.

Family in front of house

According to the National Community Development Association, the CDBG program provides grants to over 1,200 state and local governments and funds activities such housing rehabilitation, infrastructure improvements, and local services – to name a few. Also, the HOME program provides grants to over 600 participating jurisdictions to help fund safe, affordable housing for low-income households.

The following organizations recognize National Community Development Week: National Community Development Association, National Association of Counties, U.S. Conference of Mayors, Council of State Community Development Agencies, National Association of Regional Councils, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies, National Association for County Community and Economic Development and the International Code Council.

To celebrate, Laserfiche is highlighting two stories on how public sector organizations are providing quality services and programs to their communities.

1.    Digital Transformation Energizes County of Los Angeles Housing Agency

The Community Development Commission/Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (CDC/HACoLA) is a public agency responsible for providing LA County residents with essential programs related to subsidized housing, community development and affordable housing development and preservation. Serving the most populous county in the United States requires CDC/HACoLA to house decades’ worth of records related to hundreds of thousands of cases. These span a wide range, from groups applying to CDGB for resources to underserved areas, to people in need of Section 8 Housing Choice vouchers, and residents of all ages applying for education and training to build better lives and better neighborhoods.

“In an agency that manages more than 3,000 public and affordable housing units and assists more than 24,000 residents through a housing choice voucher program within the county, being able to pull up submitted information at a moment’s notice is vital,” says Doug Van Gelder, manager of information technology at CDC/HACoLA.

CDC/HACoLA initially implemented Laserfiche to handle its records management needs and then expanded to organization-wide automation.  Laserfiche automatically files documents with standardized naming and folder structure. Additionally, when a record’s retention period has ended, relevant employees are notified to handle disposition. “The need for services is always going to be great, and everyone is always going to be busy doing their jobs,” Van Gelder says. “Finding and pulling documents, and making sure records are taken care of in accordance to regulations is time consuming. The new system takes that tedious work away from the case managers, so they can focus on the people they serve.”

2.    Automating the Grant Approval Process

Headquartered in the Pacific Northwest, the Samish Indian Nation is governed by a seven-member Tribal Council elected to oversee the tribe’s welfare and resources. Members are offered a wide variety of opportunities including housing assistance, elders’ services, healthcare, wellness and cultural enrichment.

In order to help manage the various programs offered to the tribal members, the nation works with state and federal agencies to implement many grant funded activities. In addition to maintaining the economic welfare of the tribe, these grant deliverables help to protect the environment and preserve natural and cultural resources.

By implementing Laserfiche, the nation has digitized their grant approval process. New grants are submitted through Laserfiche Forms, and managers are able to view and approve them from their mobile devices. The time to process a grant has been reduced from one week to a single day.

Documents can also be tracked quickly throughout their lifecycle in a centralized system. The increased throughput from this process means faster turnaround times for the organization.

To learn more about why digital transformation is key to the future success of organizations, download Leading for Innovation and Growth: Five Strategies for Driving Digital Transformation.”

Ryan Park is the Senior Software Marketing Specialist at Laserfiche. In his role, Ryan focuses on supporting the state and local government user community, researching trending topics in the industry and developing strategies for process optimization initiatives. He has led projects and spoken on topics surrounding citizen engagement, digital transformation, change management and transparency. He also contributes thought leadership articles and blog posts. Park holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern California and received his master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Long Beach.

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